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Commentary from the Edge - Week 13
Kevin Ratterree
November 25, 2008
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Howie Long was the speaker for Sunday’s “Fired Up” segment on the Fox pregame show. His topic was the perplexing nature of NFL fines for on the field incidents. Howie made the point that it seems that players with less experience are hit with harder fines than proven veterans. The crux of his commentary was that the “fine” system in the NFL is not a level playing field, and something needs to be done about it.

I have the answer, and it is a simple one. A specific standardized sliding scale of fines. Maybe it could look something like this:

Helmet to helmet hit:
basic: $10,000
1 tooth loss: $15,000
2 or more: $20,000
season ending injury: $50,000

Stomping on opponent:
body: $50,000
head: $100,000
head without helmet: $250,000

Bitch slapping:
teammate: $5,000
head coach: $7,500
opponent: $10,000
referee: $25,000
T.O.: $5

Kick or punch in the nuts:
basic: $20,000
vomiting: $30,000
sack surgery: $5,000,000
T.O.: $5

End Zone Celebration:
flipping the bird: $10,000
double flip: $20,000
ass in TV camera: $10,000
inappropriate cheerleader interaction: $50,000
inappropriate interaction with self: $75,000

Of course, this is only a sample of how they might do it. I think it would be helpful if players knew before-hand so they can commit fines that are within their spending budget. This idea not only ends the controversy, it is a great financial planning tool for all the tools in the league.

There were a few other notable moments during football programming last week. I believe it was Moose Johnston during the Cards/Giants game speaking of Edge James, “…we all know how explosive he can be.” Huh? Edge James? We all know how explosive he can be?

Moose, you might want to flip your calendar forward 4-5 years. In the last 5 games Edge has played in he has carried the ball 20 times and exploded for 50 yards. The only way Edge James is explosive is if he drinks nitro glycerin, gets tackled behind the line yet again, and the biggest chunk of him shoots across the goal line holding the ball.

Which brings up a good point. If you are in a dynasty league, why are you still holding on to Edge James? It’s over dude. It’s over. Don’t be a Moose. Let go of the past. Drink your nitro and get it over with.

But the moment that brought about the most outrage for me last week was a moment on Sunday Night Football. No, I’m not talking about Al Michaels now self-caricature like pounding of hard e’s at every opportunity, though I do find that reeeeeeeally annoying.

No, I am talking about the promo commercial on Sunday Night Football for the Rosie O’Donnell variety show. Hey guys, just in case you missed it, the new “Rosie Live” variety hour will preview Wednesday night at 8:00. With special guests Alannis Morrisette and Harry Connick Jr.

Are you guys as excited as I am?

Okay, so many things wrong here it is hard to know where to begin. But let’s try.

I think I can speak for a vast majority of Americans when I say that I detest Rosie O’Donnell. That being said, I realize that NBC is so desperate for programming that they will reach out to any small lunatic fringe niche, even the one that actually finds Rosie worth wasting minutes of their lives watching. And I understand that Sunday Night football is a mechanism by which NBC will promote their programs. It is just the way things are done in the big machine.  We get football.  They get to pimp their asinine products.

But I want to meet the NBC exec that actually thinks anybody watching the NFL game on Sunday night would be even remotely interested in watching some mealy-mouthed no talent bitch plod around the stage less than 24 hours before we will eat our biggest meal of the year. C’mon, we have our appetites to think about. I mean, I threw up a little in my mouth just from watching the promo.

And a variety show in the first place? What is this, the 50’s? Who are we? Wally and the Beaver?

Donald Trump said it best. Rosie is a loser. And NBC is a loser if they think fishing for viewers on a football broadcast will land them any whoppers, especially using that big slimy chunk of stink bait.

Let me throw the network execs a bone here. No charge.

I (typical football viewer) like two shows on NBC. “The Office” and “My Name is Earl”…occasionally. And NBC currently has those shows running opposite of Thursday Night Football.

And there you have it.

NBC has its finger on the pulse of the viewing public much in the same way the Lions front office has its finger on the pulse of what it takes to win in the NFL.

Misery Index

10) Seahawks/49ers: The times they are a changing. While in most seasons, this level of putrid play would be right in the running for the Misery Index crown, this year these bumbling stumbling Westies barely crack the top 10. Solution? Two words. Matt Millen.

9) Raiders: The good news is you finally won a game. The bad news is that now after beating the hated Shanahan led Broncos, and only being 3 games out of the lead in the division, crazy Al will probably consider the season a success.

8 ) Jaguars: Ya’ know, I cut the Jags a lot of slack this year, much like they have done for their opponents. I mean, what with losing their entire offensive line to injury and all it just didn’t feel right to bang on them. But come on. That performance against the Vikings made you look like a bunch of quitters. And the only thing more pathetic than a loser is a quitter. Unless we are talking about Rosie O’Donnell. Then being a quitter would actually be less pathetic.

7) Broncos: I am almost as excited about the Broncos impending 7-9 division championship as I am the Lions winless season. This is a banner year for the Misery Index. We have here a potential playoff team whose starting quarterback just went 16 of 37, and whose defense and special teams got jacked up by Johnnie Lee Higgins and Ashley freaking Lelie. This whole situation is as whacked as Shanahan’s teeth at a black light party.

6) Chargers: Here is something every head coach in the NFL knows. As a matter of fact, this is something every football fan from the mean streets of Indianapolis to the dung and urine stained streets of Bangkok knows. Don’t leave Peyton Manning over a minute of clock time in a close game. As a matter of fact, as soft as the Chargers have been in crunch time they probably shouldn’t leave JaMarcus Russell more than a minute of clock.  That is almost as dangerous as ditching a successful head coach for a loser.

5) Eagles: Serving up Kolb against that hungry Ravens defense was as a bad idea. A really bad idea. Like throwing chum to the sharks. That was as bad an idea as the time I thought about opening a restaurant across the street from Hooters and calling it Cooters - home of the camel toe waitresses.

4) Rams: While you might be laughing your ass off right now at the Rams giving up 35-40 points a week, you might want to check yourself and see if any of your potential first week fantasy playoff opponents are sporting any Arizona Cardinals. The Rams travel to the desert in week one of the fantasy playoffs and the sense of impending doom for those matched up against Cardinals-heavy rosters can officially begin now.

3) Bengals: This team is every bit as effective as Tony Kornheiser’s comb-over.

2) Chiefs: Lets review GM Carl Peterson’s history and see if we can find out where he went off track, shall we?

Marty Schottenheimer 101-58-1
Dick Vermeil 44-36
Other 16-16
Herm Edwards 14-29 

1) Lions:

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the play turns the minutes to hours
The naysayers say they would win it someday
Before sixteen games were behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the sixteen weeks of the slaughters.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
And the players Ford Field Cathedral
The church bell chimed, ’til it rang 53 times
For each man on the ‘08 Lions roster.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of Matt Millen come early.

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